Government Fabric Tests Tell Us How to Buy Clothes
WHAT makes some winter coats warmer than others?
Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Standards has just completed a series of experiments to answer this question.
The results have upset some of our pet notions about the warmth of the goods from which our suits and overcoats are made.
They show, for one thing, that a coat made of cotton can be just as warm as a wool one.
It is not the kind of fabric that makes the difference in warmth, but the way the fabric is woven.
In the experiments, the fabrics were put through three different tests, measuring their ability to resist wind and air, heat, and moisture. In every case it was found that resistance depended not on the kind of fabric, but on the closeness of the weave.
Finally, the tests so far have led to the conclusion that fabrics of moderate density are more effective in retaining heat when not exposed to wind, while the denser, heavyweight fabrics are better for keeping out the wind.
The heat retention tests are made with a square metal plate, electrically heated. Samples of the fabric are clamped down on both sides of the plate so that no heat can escape except through the fabric. The escaping heat is then measured electrically.
To study the problems of textile manufacture, the bureau has constructed the laboratory-size textile plant pictured here. Air conditioning apparatus, a part of which is seen at the ceiling, permits regulation of temperature and humidity to obtain any desired working conditions.